Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thinking Out Loud

                             Devil's Paintbrush (Pilosella Aurantiaca)

Pretend you believe that you will 'come back' after this life.

And now pretend that you would have some control over this.

What would your 'top three' choices be?

Here are mine:
                          1. Dancer  
                          2. Chef
                          3. Archaeologist 

And since I have a few more in mind, I see I will have quite a future ahead of 'me'. lol

Now it's your turn.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Birthday Party

As promised here are a few photos of the birthday party we had for Dad on Sunday.

It was held at my sister Paula's house. It was to start at 3 P.M. , so we arrived at 2 P.M. to help with the set-up and heat up the seafood chowder I made.

                             Brynn (niece) trying to look inconspicuous.

When we got there we saw that the 'decorators' (my nieces Meghan and Brynn) had already done their job. the place was covered in balloons and a very large banner for all to sign.

                             Not only the decorator but the 'official' food sampler!

The weather had actually cooperated. It began to clear around noon and the sun was brightly shining. 

    "Help me Dustin! Why are you so blurry?!

The first invited guest to arrive was Dad's first cousin, Marjorie.  She got there before Dad arrived so I had a chance to talk with her a bit. I found out that Dad was named after her father, Jimmie. He was Dad's uncle and he had died when she was a year old.

                            Dad arriving with son, Fred.

    Marjorie and Dad.

It was fun to watch them both when Dad arrived. At first Dad didn't  recognize her. It was a very long time since they had seen one another. They huddled next to one another and 'caught up'.

    Great-grand niece playing Happy Birthday!

People started to arrive......mostly relatives at first. Then some community people arrived, people that Mom and Dad have known over the years. I must mention that when two young ladies arrived from the local bakery (the one Dad has frequented for years) with two boxes of cup-cakes, Dad's eyes lit up!

    The 'bakery girls' with Dad and Fred.

He calls up the bakery a few times a week and precedes to tease the women who work there. It is all in fun and they love to hear from him. And since he no longer can get there on his own, it was a treat for them as well to see him.

By the time they left, the place was packing up! Seriously, at one point it seemed like everyone was staying in the same room!

Then the entertainment arrived. My brother, Dennis, had asked a couple of his students, who had recently graduated and who just happened to be very good singers, to sing a few of Dad's favourite songs. They did a great job. And it brought a few tears to some family members as these brought back some good memories.

    Ron just 'goofin' around'!! with Jamie.

Then it was my turn to have the great grand children read the congratulatory greetings from local and national leaders. For the past month I had received official certificates from the mayor of Halifax, the Premier of Nova Scotia, the members of the legislative assembly, the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, the Prime Minister of Canada and the Governor General of Canada, the Queen's official representative. She wouldn't send one as you must be 90 or 100! Will have to apply again when Dad turns 100 in 5 years time.

The kids did very well and I think they actually really enjoyed reading something from' important ' people.

    Ron and Jamie (great niece) 'catching up'.

The food was great. We prepared for over 80 people and wanted to have more than we needed, just in case. And we did. There was chili, corn chowder, seafood chowder, the best tea-biscuits made by the chef at a local cafe, meat balls, trays of everything imaginable! We didn't run out of anything.

    Grand and great grand children.

My sister Paula had a friend of hers make the cake. Well, as you can see it was quite the cake. It had baseball paraphernalia, bowling, his favourite lottery numbers. Dad was a great ball player and bowler in his day and LOVED to play cards!!!

Before people started to leave a few photos were taken of the different groups........cousins, grandkids, Dad's kids. Here is one of all my brothers and sisters. Marilyn surprised us all by arriving from Edmonton, Alberta just as the party started.

                             Marilyn surprised us all!

                            Back row: Marilyn, Jo-Ann, me, Laurie, Fred
                            Front row: Paula, Mary Elizabeth, Dennis.
                            Middle: Dad

By about 7 o'clock people started to say their good byes and head for home. Dad was happy and exhausted. He had seen people he hadn't seen in a long time and he had a chance to chat with them. It was time to call it a day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's Everywhere.....We just Have To Look

We are so used to the cool weather here in Nova Scotia (and I am using 'we' as in Ron and I, not all Nova Scotians) that when it all of a sudden turned HUMID this afternoon, Ron and I were looking for refuge.

Of course we turned the A/Con in the car and that helped a bit. And knowing we'd be leaving the comfort of the car as soon as we got home, we drove past our house and headed to MacDonald Hill. We were guaranteed to have some reprieve there.

And as always to our surprise we were the only ones there! It always blows us away that no one else was taking advantage of the cooler air on this hill.

So up this hill we went.

And you know what? I realized that all around us were the most beautiful flowers growing 'au naturel'.

So I lingered behind sitting amongst the grasses and flowers 'snapping away' as Ron and Sophie  went further up the hill.

All the photos here, and the 'header', were taken this evening. As much as I like the flowers we grow in our garden and over which we have some control, I appreciate and cannot compete with these so-called 'wild flowers' in their natural habitat.

Beauty is everywhere.....we just have to look.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Contemplative Monday

"Thinking should be done beforehand and afterwards---never while taking a photograph. The thing to be feared most (when taking photographs) is the artificially contrived, the contrary to life." ....Henri Cartier-Bresson, photographer

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday's Selection

Maybe some of you have heard these gals before and maybe some of you haven't. Their unique sound can be infectious and 'toe-tappin'.

The Be Good Tanyas are a Canadian 'traditional' music group which was formed in Vancouver, British Columbia. They can sound 'country', 'folk' and 'blue grass' all at the same time!

Give them a listen. You just might like what you hear. Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Retro Saturday

Found these on Wednesday past at the 'Sally Ann'. They caught my eye immediately and I could tell that they were from Quebec.

Got home and 'googled' around a bit and discovered that they were from Quebec.. The artist, Charles R. de Guise, was/is one of the 'rue du Tresor' artists in Quebec City.

These are 'offset' prints which were first printed in black and white, then hand-painted' by the artists and then signed. If you want to learn a little more about this process, click here.

Funny, but when I saw these I was instantly taken back to the 70's when Ron and I were in Quebec City visiting a friend. He took us down to rue du Tresor one day and we were very impressed by what we saw........even back then the artists were everywhere selling their work.

These are 'keepers'. I got home and immediately took down three 'older' photographs and put these up in their place. We love them! In case you are interested, I paid $8.00 for both. Sweet!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday's Wrap Up

                             From the shed.

It's Friday and the end of the week. It was a week of sunshine here in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

   Maidenhair Fern.

And as a result there were many photos taken around here. Also it was the week that my Dad turned 95 years old.

                             Hosta leaf.

We both had a short stint with the flu bug. That was weird! I haven't had the flu for quite a long time. There's absolutely nothing one can do but to sit back and take it like a man! Which we did, as best we could! lol

                             Bearded Iris.

Speaking of Dad's birthday, I took him out for dessert on Thursday afternoon after his 'ear' appointment. He needed an adjustment made to his hearing aids.......they needed to be programmed to a little higher volume.


We were there two weeks previous and the audiologist, Amy, noted that Dad's day of birth was the same as hers. So Dad brought along a couple of cupcakes for her. She was very pleased.

                             Hired help....aka Ron.

In two days time we (the family and friends) will all be congregating at my sister's home for the big party! There are over 80 people invited and we expect it to be the 'party of the year' for our family.

                             On the boardwalk at Conrad's Beach.

Of course I will have 'a few' photos to share with you all, next week.

    Break time.

Today we started to do two walks with Sophie. We will try to keep this going now that the weather is better.

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